Physician Finds Comfort in Colleagues, and They Find Courage in Her
When her 67-year-old father fell ill in early March, Dermatologist Dina Elrashidy, MD, was helping her practice through operational changes due to the pandemic.
With COVID-19 precautions in place, Dr. Elrashidy could not visit her father or be with her family in Michigan. And when her father died later that month from complications of COVID-19, Dr. Elrashidy did as many Americans have in the past few months: She mourned from a distance.
“Grief is very surreal in this time,” says Dr. Elrashidy, clinical practice director for SoNo Dermatology and the Central HSC Dermatology group. “I unfortunately can’t grieve normally. It’s been very tough, but having responsibilities to my patients and colleagues has given me other things to focus on.”
When her father first got sick, before it was clear he had COVID-19, Dr. Elrashidy answered one of his medical questions by text. He replied, with a kiss emoticon, “You are a good doctor.” “I will always remember that conversation,” Dr. Elrashidy says. “He always told me how proud he was of me.”
Throughout her grief, Dr. Elrashidy has continued to provide leadership for the Dermatology team and to care for patients, including having telehealth visits with patients on the day of her father’s death. She also shared clinical information with colleagues nationally on the presentation of lesions on hands and feet thought to be associated with coronavirus.
Recently, Dr. Elrashidy worked reactivation plans. The community dermatologists have resumed in-office visits with modifications to allow for social distancing in the clinic setting.
Dr. Elrashidy says she has drawn strength and comfort from her colleagues, who form a close team. “We have very frequent calls — every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning,” she says. “We talk about everything we are thinking and are in communication every day over Chat. I also have excellent communication with my nurses and practice manager, who make it easy to ask for help and share concerns.” In turn, Dr. Elrashidy’s colleagues say she has inspired them during these uncertain times.
“While there are many heroes on the front lines, and we as a team salute and thank them all, I want to highlight Dr. Elrashidy, who has displayed her own type of heroism behind the scenes,” says Northwestern Medical Group Dermatologist Steven Nwe, DO. “Throughout this ordeal, she has continued to be an effective and positive leader, and provided strength and courage to the entire team. I am very lucky to be able to work with this phenomenal physician.”
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